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Medicare 14, Abc 14, Obama 13, Abc News 13, New York 13, Craig 13, California 12, U.s. 10, Slater 7, San Francisco 6, Iraq 6, Tony Blair 6, Lindsay 6, America 5, Seattle 5, Craig Newmark 5, Montana 5, Omaha 5, Boston 5, Wyoming 5,
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    September 6, 2010
    2:05 - 4:30am EDT  

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agents will remain with it even their forensics teams from a half dozen government agencies will scrutinize every inch of >> what they're going to be last-ditch stopgap measure >> reporter: five stories high, the bop was a series of valves in the event of a leak. the last line of prevent. but as we learned, this was not failures. this was a critical part of the blowout preventer system. it should have worked first. there are seven other components 50 feet high. all of them failed. but there was also human error. over 100 hours of testimony before a federal investigative panel revealed that to save money, bp officials built a to avoid incriminating themselves, three bp execs have already pleaded the fifth.
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bop and installed the new one. >> i'm very pleased to announce that with the new blowout preventer on this well, this well does not constitute a threat to the gulf of mexico. >> reporter: now bp can complete the final kill of this doomed officials say that process can begin next week. allowing the company to move on to its next problem, $18 billion in potential fines. matt gutman, abc news. nova scotia is still in cleanup mode this morning after getting battered by tropical storm earl. >> earl was no longer a hurricane by the time it made landfall saturday morning but heavy rain and winds toppled trees, knocked out power to 250,000 people all in canada. earl is being blamed for one death, a man who drowned off of halifax while trying to secure his boat. here's your labor day forecast. stormy in the middle of the country. 80-mile-an-hour winds, large hail, isolated tornados from minnesota to kansas. windy in the dakotas, montana
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and wyoming. heavy rain across southern texas. showers in the pacific northwest. >> 60s in seattle, billings and fargo. 71 in salt lake city. 81 in colorado springs. mostly 80s across the midwest. 78 in boston. and 88 in atlanta. it looks like the san diego bay is getting a visit from the pirates of the caribbean. >> people in southern california enjoying the festival of sail this labor day weekend. more than a dozen tall ships from around the world have san diego. >> visitors can explore those vessels, take a little bit of entertainment and food, and even go for a ride around the bay. that ain't a bad way to spen the monthly day weekend at all. >> it would be tough to fit one of those in those bottles. it's tough anyway but something like that is difficult. >> more after this. stay right there. you go next if you had a
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hoveround power chair? the statue of liberty? the grand canyon? it's all possible ith a hoveround., tom: hi i'm tom kruse, inventor rand founder of hoveround., when we say you're free to see the world, we mean it. call today and get a free overound information kit, that includes a video and full color brochure. dennis celorie: "it's by far the best chair i've ever owned." terri: "last year, 9 out of 10 people got their hoveround for "little or no money." jim plunkitt: "no cost. absolutely no cost to me." breaking news...when you call today, we'll include a free hoveround collapsible grabber with the purchase of your power chair. it reaches, it grabs, it's collapsible and it's portable. it goes wherever you go. get it free while supplies last. call the number on your screen to get your free video, brochure and your free hoveround collapsible grabber. call the number on your screen.
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welcome back, everybody. former british prime minister tony blair has released his memoirs. "a journey: my political life." he spoke exclusively about the book with "this week's" christiane amanpour. >> for more here's a look at the sunday talk shows. >> "abc this week" with christiane amanpour starts now. >> do you have regrets about iraq? >> you can't not have regrets about the lives you lost. you'd be inhuman if you didn't regret the death of so many extraordinary, brave, committed soldiers or civilians that have died in iraq or die still now in afghanistan.
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of course you feel an enormous responsibility for that. i say in the book, the concept of responsibility for me has its present and future tense, not just its past tense. >> you see president obama faced with drawing down in iraq, ramping up in afghanistan, but still pushing a deadline on. what sort of message does that send as to the commitment to fight this? >> i think it's perfectly sensible to set the deadline, and provided it's clear that's to get everyone focused on getting the job done. in general terms i think the answer to your question is no. i think a lot of people don't understand it's a generations-long struggle. i think one of the things we've got to have, one of the debates we've got to have in the west, is are we prepared for that? >> from nbc news in washington, "meet the press with david gregory." >> let's talk about november, let's talk about the political landscape. do you think there is irrational exuberance among republicans who
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think they're going to take over the house and perhaps even the senate? or do you think the democratic control is indeed in jeopardy? >> i think if we voted tomorrow, we would do very well. but the truth of the matter is that most of this is a rejection of a democratic agenda that did not meet the expectations president obama created about a new way of doing business. from a.republican point of view, we need to bring checks and balances. tell the american people if we get back in control, we're going to check this obama agenda that has no limits and we're going to bring about balance by controlling spending, relooking at the health care bill, and trying to be more fiscally responsible. a lot of this has to do with people saying no to the democrats, not saying yes to the republicans. >> well, so what happens then in the fall? do you think republican control, or rather democratic control, is in jeopardy? >> yes, i think if the election were held tomorrow, it would be. there's a couple of months to go. at the end of the day, i don't
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know what their agenda's going to be between now and november. but what they've done in the past, no one seems to like. the health care bill is not being talked about by any democrat. the stimulus bill has been an absolute flop. i don't know what they do between now and november, other than run against us. >> the two very important ideas that are being talked about this week, that the president is suspected to be addressing on wednesday, is this idea of suspending a payroll tax. how much of a boost can that provide, and is it enough to help speed the recovery as the president suggested? >> well, i think if we suspend the payroll tax for businesses that go out and hire additional workers, expand the job tax credit that's in place today, i think that could be effective and be helpful in the next six, 12 months when the recovery really needs it. i think that would be a boost to the economy. >> laura tyson, how do you feel about it? >> i think that's correct. i think we already have in place a credit. the credit can be extended or
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could be extended into a partial payroll tax holiday. i think the issues really are going to be for new hires, all new hires, and then what size of the firm, all firms? this is an area i think is really worthy of serious discussion and with the possibility of some action. >> gretchen, let me ask you this. the whole idea of the president talking about moving in the right direction, wanting to pick up the pace. is there a predominant idea of what it is that is hindering the economy from catching fire? >> definitely is debt. we had a debt binge the likes we have hardly ever seen before. and frankly, harry, it just takes a long, long time to get that out of the system. we're still really working down the debt that homeowners took on. and it's a difficult and really excruciating process. you can't do it overnight. >> well, besides obviously their decision about or thoughts about the iraq in common, president bush and tony blair share something else in common. tony blair was at his first
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public book signing in dublin saturday and they started throwing shoes and eggs and other items at him. now that's kind of another embarrassing backlash moment they have in common. pretty scary moments for him on saturday. >> scary moments indeed. when we come back we'll see what's in "the skinny." is kanye west finally again apologizing to taylor swift? was lindsay lohan busted again? you're watching "world news now."é
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i touched the ball before it went out, coach. team! alex. alex, good call.
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time for "the skinny." it's awards season, rob. that means kanye west. >> yes, his favorite time of year. >> back in the news. he took to twitter, which he's a new twitter user. only been on there since the summer. already got a million or so followers. he wrote on his twitter page, again, i'm sorry, taylor. referring to taylor swift. last year around this time at the mtv music awards -- >> a low point in his career. >> he didn't jump in front of taylor as she was accepting an
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award and said beyonce deserved to win. he said he has "bled hard" over the past year. in seclusion a bit are he was supposed to tour with lady gaga, canceled that. >> spent some time with himself, my ego's in check, i'm coming back, i'm going to be a new person. >> this was the latest round in all of his award show snafus and televised incidents. so i don't know, we'll see. >> let's hope, one, the apology is sincere, maybe he's learned something from the incredible backlash of last year's vmas, and move on. we'll see. there's no shortage of ego on this guy. we'll see whatever happens. i hate to bring up the "l" word. we're always talking about lindsay. she's always doing something. she's back in the headlines. the caveat on this, this story may not be true. the alleged eyewitness in this case, the story may not be totally for real just yet. there's a report out apparently lindsay was driving her maserati, pulling out of her
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west hollywood garage, and actually clipped a woman who was pushing a small child in a stroller. this is allegedly video taken shortly after the accident here. i think this happened sometime last week. and there was concern lindsay did this then drove away seconds later. didn't stop to check on anybody. >> there in the bubble. >> this is shortly after she was released from rehab. she allegedly drove away after allegedly clipping this woman carrying the small kid in the stroller. there's credibility about the eyewitness. she's denying it so far. >> a paparazzo? the singular? there was a guy, a photographer, this was his first day on the job. so there's some thought that maybe he was just trying to be a little -- >> fabricating. >> salacious. >> that's according did tmz. we'll see where this goes. another negative headline for linds lindsay. >> let's talk about somebody being overexposed if you will. >> just a little.
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>> the quote-unquote white house crashers. you remember the couple that tried to sneak into the white house. >> salahis. now she's on "real housewives of d.c." now she will soon grace the pages of "playboy." >> yum. >> she is getting ready to bare her 44-year-old body and all. and this will not be an artsy top half-naked picture, a gossip website reports, it will be a full-frontal birthday suit naked. >> she's going for the gold, really. on the show, issues about her body have become a topic on the show. the other housewives think she's too skinny, may have an eating disorder or whatever. she says i'm going to show it all for "playboy." >> people will be able to analyze that. >> absolutely, absolutely. there's another housewife on the cover of "playboy." >> kelly. >> i saw her walking past the newsstand. real quick, we're almost out of time. apparently rachel ewe ka tell, tiger's mistress, snapped up a fancy manhattan apartment here for $2 million, i believe.
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here are some stories to watch today a abc news. president obama begins unveiling his new economic plan today at a labor day event in milwaukee. it's the first of a week-long series of events focusing on the economy. also, the fbi is studying every inch of that so-called blowout preventer which failed to work on the bp oil well at the bottom of the gumpl. its malfunction led to that 206 million gallons of oil spewing into the water. the marquee matchup of college football's opening weekend is tonight as number three boise state takes on number ten virginia tech 8:00 eastern time on our sister network espn news. i'll take boise state. my good friend brian murphy's a reporter in idaho covering that scene. hope he has a good season. >> a lot of people saying they're overrated. >> we'll see, we'll see. finally this half hour, the drama hitting a sour note on
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"american idol." rob, typically it's the people in front of the judges' desk getting the boot from the show. >> not this time around. the controversy behind the desk this year is leading to a big shakeup. who's in and who's out? here's jeremy hubbard. >> reporter: with season ten auditions already under way, it is down to the wire. can "american idol" find the right new judges to stop a ratings slide? >> this is a wakeup call time for "american idol." the ratings went down approximately 5 million this year. they cannot lose another 5 million next season. it's a perfect time for the judge panel to be shaken up. >> reporter: sash ray dequartereddy's departure had been rumored for week. with everyone from justin timberlake to elton john on the wish list. the latest front-runners, j. lo, who according to press reports was in the running. then totally dismissed for too many demands and is now back in. and steven tyler's reportedly in the mix as well, though aerosmith's front man played coy when a tmz camera caught up with
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him a few weeks ago. >> are you doing "american idol"? >> i don't know, that the rumor you heard? you know, i don't know, they haven't called me yet. >> are you friends with j. lo? >> they've got to lay out the bread for me. >> reporter: it has been a dizzying game of musical chairs on the judge easy panel the past couple of seasons. first cara joined, then paula left, ellen arrived. the last man standing, randy jackson. >> i'm going to honestly, honestly miss you. it has been a blast. thank you. >> reporter: the big question, can "idol" ever again find the right mix, especially after losing their sharp-tongued standout? simon cowell is launching his own talent show "the x factor" on fox. >> "american idol" without simon is the "ellen" talk show without ellen. it's weird. it's going to limp along and
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president obama launches a week-long push focused on the economy. >> it allows him to define that republicans as the party of no. >> those republicans are saying it's all too little, too late to help democrats in november. craigslist taking down its controversial adult services ad section. we'll hear from the website's founder, the craig behind the list. and, the money problems in one community in california. >> hundreds of thousands of dollars of public money has been paid out under completely suspicious circumstances. >> where did all of it go and who's getting rich because of it? the answer is ahead on this labor day, monday, september 6th. >> from abc news, this is "world news now." >> that controversy in california really is something else. i think initial reports are the median salary in that community is like $30,000.
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these guys are making hundreds of thousands of dollars. >> well, it's not a secret anymore and people are looking at the books and it's just a whole mess. it's a pr mess to say the very least. >> all that money. good morning, everybody. happy labor day. i'm rob nelson. >> i'm mike marusarz, sitting in for vinita nair. the president is celebrating labor day with union workers in wisconsin. it's the beginning of a week when the white house is focused on the economy. >> mr. obama also has an eye of course toward the midterm elections which are coming up now in two months. david kerley reports now from the white house. >> reporter: president obama hits the road today for a week that is all about the economy. he'll be unveiling a new economic plan, having admitted that the economy is stalled. the administration confirms the president will call for a permanent extension and expansion of the research tax credit which allows businesses to write off development costs. mr. obama may also endoors a payroll tax holiday for new
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hires. all tax cuts that business supports. >> we always like to see death bed conversions but the fact is if we'd have done this kind of thing nearly a couple of years ago, we'd be in a lot better shape. >> reporter: but can it make a difference with less than 60 days to the midterm elections? or is part of the president's plan a hail mary pass? daring republicans to pass popular tax cuts he's suggested before the election? >> it allows him to define republicans as the party of no. if democrats seize on that opportunity, i think that's a great opportunity for democrats. >> republican-based voters can't wait to get to the polls to register their vote on election day. democrats are having a hard time even getting out of bed in the morning. >> reporter: many democrats are distancing themselves from president obama. the head of the democratic committee said on sunday they are foolish to do so, saying they have a lot to be proud of. david kerley, abc news, the white house. in other news now, craigslist has removed the
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controversial adult services section of its website. in its place now is a banner that simply says "censored." a group of state attorneys general had argued that craigslist was not doing enough to block those ads promoting prostitution. it's still not clear if the move is actually permanent. coming up later in this half hour, we'll look back at an interview with the real craig of craigslist. with the anniversary of the september 11th attacks days away, tensions remain high over the construction of new mosques around the country. when an anti-muslim televangelist turned up near ground zero over the weekend, some thought there could be more trouble. as chuck sivertsen reports, it didn't tour out that way. >> i love people, i hate nobody. >> reporter: those words from known anti-muslim preacher bill keller, the televangelist gave a new service at a new christian center half a block from ground zero. and to the surprise of some in the audience he also supported a proposed highly controversial muslim community center two
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blocks away. >> they have every right to build it. >> reporter: it's not a complete truce. >> they want to go there and preach the lies of islam, i can come preach the truth of the bible. >> reporter: still, mosque supporters welcome the words anniversar the terrorist center. with each other. they can all pray in their own house of wor ship and i'm in favor of that. connecticut, the protests over a new mosque in a residential neighborhood continues. in murfreesboro, tennessee, officials are offering a $20,000 reward for information about an arson fire at the construction site of a new mosque. still, the mosque's imam hopes the fire is the last act in a string of protests, marches and vandalism. >> i think something good will come out of this. we'll get to know each other and everyone will realize that the muslim community is a part of this society. >> reporter: chuck sivertsen, abc news. u.s. troops training iraqi forces in baghdad found themselves providing cover fire
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during an insurgents attack. 12 people were killed and dozens wounds. u.s. officials say no americans were hurt. it's the first time americans have been involved in fighting since the u.s. formally ended combat last month. authorities in new zealand have extended a state of emergency in the earthquake-ravaged city of christ church. the two-day extension comes as army troops took control of the city center earlier today. a 7.1 magnitude quake badly damaged many businesses in that area two days ago. damage from that quake is now estimated at $1.4 billion. public school teachers have long complained about being underpaid. but that's not stopping them from digging deep into their own pockets so their students don't have to suffer. with the recession making things even worse, one group has stepped in to lighten the load. here's ron claiborne. >> reporter: for school administrators, shrinking budgets mean numbers that won't add up. for first grade teacher daisy cabon, it means students who
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won't have pencils or paper. >> in the year you run out, then you don't get any more. >> reporter: so cabon like thousands of public school teachers around the country buys them herself. >> i spend probably like $400 a year. >> reporter: out of pocket? >> out of my pocket, yes. >> reporter: one study finds more than 90% of public school teachers spend their own money to provide basic supplies for their students. an average of nearly $500 a year. but now they are get something help. world vision, a christian humanitarian organization, is providing supplies to more than 350,000 students nationwide. everything from highlighters to erasers to textbooks. >> we try to make connections between donors and people who don't have enough. >> reporter: world vision goes directly to suppliers to get them to donate excess inventory. to companies like staples. the supplies are then brought to one of eight world vision storehouses around the country. then distributed to centers like this one where teachers come to shop.
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>> they're always running out of binders. this will come in handy. >> any time i find science materials, i love it. >> reporter: all of it free. >> they're happy to receive anything. so anything you give them, they are excited about. >> reporter: excited too about learning. and that may be the most valuable thing this program provides. ron claiborne, abc news, new york. former jet blue flight attendant steven slater claims he was not fired but instead quit his job. that claim followed some widespread rumors that the carrier took disciplinary action against slater. the former flight attendant made a dramatic and headline-grabbing exit from a flight in new york by deploying the plane's emergency slide. that incident came after an argument between slater and a passenger on that flight. here's a look at your labor day weather forecast. gusty winds, golf ball-size hail and a chance of tornados and flash flooding from the twin cities to omaha. windy across the dakotas, montana, and wyoming.
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a tropical depression brings heavy rain to south texas, showers to south florida. >> 90 in miami. 80 in new york. 78 in boston. 80s from indianapolis to open omaha. 73 in minneapolis. and 64 in fargo. a wet 62 in seattle. 73 in boise. and 90 in albuquerque. and finally, finally there is good news to report from china this morning. after one of that country's most notorious long and complicated traffic jams, it is beginning to ease, if only a bit. >> on friday, get this, some 10,000 trucks were at a standstill on part of the beijing/tibet highway. now they are finally inching along as they make their way to the chinese capital. >> the congestion began to worsen last month because of a road construction project on a nearby highway and it sure seems they can't finish that construction. that's mind-boggling. >> 10,000 trucks. people getting out of their cars and camping out, the traffic was not moving for days. we thought traffic in new york was tough, we have nothing on
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that. >> people across the country, in l.a. they complain on the 405. >> good luck to those folks. more after this, stay tuned. with fluoride. come it helps you get a better dental check-up. crest complete rinse makes the difference because it provides all these benefits. giving you a clean, healthy mouth. a more complete way to a better dental check-up. new crest pro health complete rinse. when pain keeps you up, nothing is proven to help you fall asleep faster than advil pm liqui-gels. rushing real liquid relief to ease you to sleep fast. for nighttime pain, mae advil pm your #1 choice.
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now to that story about the working class suburb of l.a. where officials were paying themselves salaries between $400,000 and $800,000 a year. >> of course all that caused a huge national uproar. now the investigation is actually spreading to other towns. mike von fremd has more now from bell, california. >> reporter: bell, california, is a struggling suburb of 40,000 people south of los angeles. with 17% living below the poverty line, many residents line up each week at the food bank. so california's attorney general wants to know why the city manager was making nearly $1 million a year. >> we have a case where hundreds of thousands of dollars of public money has been paid out under completely suspicious circumstances.
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>> reporter: the scandal exploded in july when the "los angeles times" reported the city manager was making nearly $800,000 a year. double president obama's salary. and it didn't stop there. the chief of police got $457,000. and part-time members of the city council helped themselves to nearly $100,000. >> they're setting an agenda they have to line their pockets. >> reporter: outraged residents forced their leaders to step down. but the scandal did not end there. residents learned they were paying the second-highest property taxes in the county. >> they were bankrupting the residents. people weren't able to pay their taxes, paying double what the city was paying. >> reporter: no one was watching. this is a working class community and few had time to attend city council meetings. since the salary scandal, all that has changed. other towns are now coming under
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the microscope. investigators are already looking at bell's neighbors. vernon and maywood. >> shame on you! shame on you! >> reporter: angry residents are not satisfied to see their leaders resign. they want their money back. >> i think it's criminal. >> reporter: bell's city manager is owed a pension of $600,000 a year for life. this weekend, pension supervisors announced they may be making some major revisions. mike von fremd, abc news, bell, california. >> the moral of that story is the danger are not watching, of not paying attention. what they can get away with if you don't keep a close eye. >> step on my soapbox here. as much as we in the media get hounded for not doing the type of work people want to see, this is exactly why you need oversight. that is insane to believe, the budget crisis they're going through. these officials seeming smug
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about their salaries. >> not anymore. that's for sure. coming up, just who is craig from craigslist? >> a look at the founder of america's community billboard from our "abc news vault." stay tuned.
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as we reported earlier the adult services section on the website craigslist has been removed. >> the site's founder, craig new mark, told abc news in 2006 when a crime was committed through his site they openly work with police. for more on craigslist we go into the "abc news vault" from february 22nd, 2006. >> reporter: type in www.craigslist.org and you're opening a window to the world. >> i placed the ad on craigslist to free up some space in my garage by getting rid of a couple of my wife's six strollers. >> i found this place on craigslist a year ago.
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it was only appropriate that i go back to craigslist to look for more people to fill the space. >> reporter: as his interviews from the film "24 hours on craigslist," the website is a legitimate cultural phenomenon. millions of connections, goods, services. all thanks to craigslist. and craig. >> my feeling is he doesn't really exist. >> reporter: craig exists. here he is, craig newmark, 52. former techie at ibm and self-described nerd since high school. the man responsible for one of the top ten websites on the planet. america's community billboard. it all started simply enough 11 years ago. just a lonely guy in the bay area looking for some friends. >> and i started a simple mailing list of what i felt were cool events. >> reporter: he was going to call it sf events but a pal weighed in. >> he said, you called it
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craig's list, keep calling it that, it will signify it's personal and quirky. >> reporter: casual encounters. >> i listed an ad saying something along the lines of, passable transsexual escort available for out calls. >> reporter: from no strings, extracurricular, often extramarital, sex. >> it bothers me that people do some stuff which maybe i find personally unpleasant. but i'm not going to judge them if for no other reason than i'm find something practices which i don't like are pretty universal throughout the whole country, for example. >> reporter: but you're enabling it. you could take that section off your list. >> people would find other ways to do it, it would spread to other, more legitimate sections of our site. >> reporter: every morning, craig newmark tends to craigslist customer complaints. most of it is pretty petty stuff. or administrative, like keeping
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broke hoarse charge a fee in the right section of the listings. >> the really big lesson that i have learned from doing craigslist customer service full-time, interacting with a couple hundred people a week or so, is people are overwhelmingly good and trustworthy. >> i'm making a short video digital project, i have a budget of $20.32. >> reporter: but there is bad stuff. >> she's prostituting herself. she has a listing on craigslist. >> reporter: criminal scams. prostitution. and worse. one san francisco woman was accused of offering her 4-year-old daughter up for sex on craigslist. >> you see something really ugly and that stays in your head. in my case, i've seen too much ugly stuff. and it haunts me. >> reporter: often such questionable listings are flagged for craig by other users. but sometimes law enforcement gets involved. and craig says he bends over backwards to help them. with craigslist generating about
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1 billion page views per month, largely free classifieds, newspaper publishers blame craig for stealing away the bread and butter of their business. just in san francisco, one study showed, the "san francisco chronicle" and its competitors lose more than $50 million a year in classified advertising revenue because of craig. and the criticism has been withering. you shouldn't take the money and run, one columnist wrote about craig. you need to give something back to society other than cheap apartment ads and sunny, dirty personals. jim buckmaster, who runs the day-to-day operations of craigslist, understands is criticism. but jim rejects the notion that craigslist is single-handedly killing off newspapers. he points to other trends like younger readers increasingly wanting to get their news online. still, he acknowledges that craigslist isn't helping matters. >> we have to keep our eyes on. tens of millions of users who really weren't well-served by newspapers as far as the classified opportunities that have existed in the past.
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>> do you not feel any responsibility for any of the financial struggles of newspapers? >> i don't feel responsibility, taking that literally. i'd like to accelerate change in the news industry so that fewer people are fired and so that the jobs of people in the news business get better. >> you've described yourself as in the past, perhaps even in the present, not being great at interaction or communication. fair? >> very fair. >> do you think it's ironic at all that you have created this huge website that does nothing but bring people together in communication and interactivity? >> my life is a full irony. my life is a sitcom. >> abc news reached out to craigslist and cot has not commented about its recent move to take down the adult services ad section.
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your "morn your "morning papers." >> we're talking vegetables today. all kinds of weird stuff on this labor day morning. so cool stuff growing out there in the gardens of the world. >> let's be hungry. this first vegetable, pretty reminiscent of a favorite flick for some youngsters out there. "toy story." believe it or not there's a carrot that looks like buzz lightyear from "toy story." >> usually these stories are pretty stupid but that really does look like it. >> a grandfather, clive williams, dug this thing up. he said, wait a minute, this looks like buzz lightyear. he took it inside, asked his grandchildren what disney character does this look like, and sure enough, buzz lightyear. now they're wanting to grow woody, which is the sidekick of course, and the other characters, like mr. potato head, to complete their "toy story" set. >> mr. potato head, part two of this story, apparently a record
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has been broken for the world's largest potato. look at this picture here. this thing came in at eight pounds, four ounces. world's largest potato by a few ounces. and this guy, peter glays brook. he thinks this thing is the star trek's "enterprise" spaceship. i can kind of see that, though. he's waiting for official verification from the guinness book of world records that this is indeed the world's largest potato. >> he said the secret was the right seed. you've got to have the right seed to morph into the proper -- >> you're clever. i'm sure. wild stuff, though, yes. >> here's a disturbing picture. and a disturbing story. >> where we left off last week with the smoking kid. >> right. i'm saying, this is a dog who apparently now smokes a pack a day. >> puppy. >> it's a little puppy dog. the owner said at first the dog did not like the smell. shocking, he didn't like the
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smell of smoke being blown into his face. apparently he got accustomed to it. >> that's how he got him accustomed to it, blowing smoke in his face to this little puppy in china. >> the people around him in that neighborhood say he's a bad pet owner. i would say so. they need to take this little guy away from the owner. >> the smoking 2-year-old was up to 40 cigarettes a day. i got a lot of buzz on our website. now the puppies are smoking. what's going on in the world? this story cracks us both up here. this is a woman in korea. she's been trying for years to get her driver's license, to finally pass the driver's test. she was taking this test once a day, five days a week, since april 2005. on her 960th try she finally passes the test. she's an eligible driver now.
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president obama has some new ideas for how to get the economy moving again. >> i'll keep working day by day to restore opportunity, economic security, and that basic american dream for our families. >> we'll start getting the details today of his ideas. then, the contentious issue of that proposed islamic community center near ground zero. >> somebody should be down there preaching the truth of god's word. >> the rhetoric is only getting hotter as the anniversary of 9/11 approaches. and, "insomniac theater." >> quite frankly, i'm crazy about you. >> i'm crazy about you too. >> we spent part of the weekend at the movies, and we'll tell you what we saw. >> he has a gun? >> it's labor day, monday, september 6th. >> from abc news, this is "world news now." >> a beautiful weekend weather-wise here in new york.
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>> yes. >> but not, at least for me, not a beautiful time in the movie theater at all. my first bad review today. >> wow. i liked my movie so we'll see which one saw which movie and that's coming up later on. >> that's right. haeb labor day, good morning, i'm rob nelson. >> i'm mike marusarz. vinita nair is on vacation. president obama begins an intense focus on the economy today with a speech to union workers in wisconsin. >> mr. obama is beginning to unveil specific details of a new plan to jump start the economy. tahman bradley now reports from the white house. >> reporter: over the next week, president obama wants to show he's recommitted. >> i'll keep working day by day to restore opportunity, economic security, and that basic american dream for our families and future generations. >> reporter: after another month of modest private sector job growth and an overall net job loss, the president hits the road, traveling to milwaukee on labor day for remarks on the economy. then a stop in cleveland wednesday where he'll unveil
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more recovery proposals. and back to the white house for a news conference on friday. democrats hope the president asserts that his stimulus package last summer saved jobs. >> we've had eight straight months of private sector job gain. not as high as anyone would like but we're on the right path here. >> reporter: the president's push comes less than two months before the midterm elections. republicans have hammered the white house for declaring this the summer of recovery. >> recovery summer has become the summer of despair. >> the economic policies have failed. and he can argue about jobs created, jobs saved. but the fact when is they passed the stimulus package they said unemployment would be a maximum of 8%. >> reporter: president obama plans a new economic package with proposals for extending and increasing tax credits for business research expenses. more money spent on infrastructure. and incentives for small business investments. >> for this economy to come back, it's going to have to be the private sector that comes
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back. >> reporter: the economic proposals come at the kickoff of the fall campaign. polls show democrats trail republicans by a large margin. tahman bradley, abc news, the white house. investigators probing the bp oil spill are beginning to look at a key piece of evidence. they seized the damage well's blowout preventer when it was brought to the surface over the weekend. the device, which weighs 350 tons and is 50 feet high, was designed to prevent a massive leak. now the blowout preventer will be carefully examined by the u.s. justice department to see if the rig's owners broke any rules. u.s. troops battled heavily armed insurgents who attacked an iraqi military headquarters in baghdad over the weekend. for the first time since combat officially ended last month that american soldiers were involved in fighting. 12 people were killed when suicide bombers set up a car bomb and fought their way inside a building before being killed. in guatemala, torrential rains have triggered a string of deadly mudslidesing a a major highway.
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at least 38 people were killed when land gave way burying two buses and several cars. some of the rescuers responding to one slide were trapped when yet another slide occurred in the very same spot. 10,000 people have been evacuated and at least 50 are still missing. craigslist has refused to discuss why it shut down the adult services section of its website late last week. but the company had been involved in a legal fight over those erotic-themed ads. linsey davis has more. >> reporter: the laundry list of ads found on craigslist is now one item shorter. those seeking adult services on a popular classifieds website will find the word "censored" instead. attorneys general from 17 states banded together and wrote a joint letter to the website late last month, calling for the removal of the section. they accused the site of profiting from the suffering of women and children who continue to be victimized by craigslist. >> over a number of years, we've persuaded craigslist to take action, eliminating prostitution ads. fortunately now it's done the right thing voluntarily.
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>> reporter: craigslist has been linked to several scandals. most famously, philip markoff, the so-called craigslist killer. generate $45 million this year. about one-third of the site's total profits. craigslist claims it was created for legitimate adult businesses. but critics consider the section a thinly veiled clearing out for prostitution. >> we're looking at craigslist as the walmart of online sex trafficking of minors. it is where the majority of young people we've assisted have been exploited. >> reporter: abc's david wright recently talked to a 20-year-old who said she was forced to work as a teenage sex slave by pimps who advertised her on craigsl t craigslist. >> a typical ad would say, sexy teen girl, if you want to have some fun i appreciate 150 red roses per hour. >> reporter: we found similar ads on craigslist posted in toronto, like this one from busty and sexy. she advertises, when you come over to my place, you're going
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to have the good time of your life. craigslist only removed adult services content from their american sites. that's where we found several postings, from people like annessa rose, who wondered where should i post now? craigslist officials have not released a statement and we can not reach them for comment so we're not sure if these ads are gone for good or just for now. linsey davis, abc news, new york. former jet blue flight attendant steven slater claims he wasn't fired but instead quit his job. that claim follows widespread rumors that the carrier took disciplinary action against slater. the former flight attendant made a dramatic and of course headline-grabbing exit from a flight in new york by deploying the plane's emergency slide. the incident came after an argument between slater and a passenger on that flight. slater is now reported to be in talks for what else, his own reality show. at least six small earthquakes have been reported in just one day in the state of oklahoma. it's the second time in less
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than a week that it's happened. the most recent quakes which registered on saturday range from a magnitude of 1.5 to 3.3. no injuries or damage has been reported from any of the quakes. with that here's a look at your labor day forecast. severe storms in the nation's midsection. gusty winds, large hail, and isolated tornados in minneapolis, des moines, and omaha. windy from the dakotas to montana and wyoming. heavy rain across southern texas. and showers from orlando to miami. >> mostly 90s along the gulf coast. 80 in new york. 78 in boston. 80s from detroit to kansas city. just 62 in seattle. and 71 in portland. phoenix climbs to 106. and sacramento 94. well, they have roped in a new world record, dragging it now south of the border. >> a band of mexican cowboys and a few cowgirls now hold the guinness record for the largest number of people lassoing at the same time. 69 churros twirled the ropes
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simultaneously for nearly three minutes in the city of guadalajara. >> nice roll of the tongue there. >> you like that? >> they far surpassed the previous record of 23 which was set last year by texas. good ole cowboys. >> none of them look that happy to be breaking the record. it was almost like word. >> they were tired, what do you expect? nice job. we'll be back with more "world news now" rit after this.
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next saturday marks the ninth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. it's a somber week for many, also a week rife with debate. >> at the heart of that debate the proposed islamic community center near ground zero. as dan harris reports it could be a very long week. >> there is only one truth, it's in this book. if it's not in this book it's not true. >> reporter: pastor bill keller, a notoriously anti-islamic televangelist who earned his theology degree while serving
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time for insider trading, held a small service at a hotel near ground zero where he wants to open a christian center to compete with the planned muslim community center. >> when they decided to build a mosque and preach what i consider a 1,400-year-old lie from hell, i decided that somebody should be down there preaching the truth of god's word. >> reporter: this is but a foretaste of what promises to be a hyper-politicized ninth anniversary of 9/11 coming up this saturday, which will feature a rally at ground zero, a church in florida burning korans -- >> we are going to have an international burn a koran day. >> reporter: and an event in alaska that will include glenn beck and sarah palin, two of the most vocal opponents of the so-called ground zero mosque. >> critics say all the rhetoric is fueling anti-muslim violence, including a fire at the future side site of a mosque in tennessee which just this weekend was ruled to be an act of arson. >> we're asking for those individuals who know who may be responsible for this crime to
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come forward with that information. >> reporter: as mosques around the country beef up their security and reach out to other faiths for help, one muslim group is now running these ads designed to improve the image of the faith. >> i don't want to impose my faith on you. >> i don't want to take over this country. >> reporter: there's another concern many muslims have about this upcoming anniversary. due to a fluke in the calendar it happens to coincide with the muslim festival of eve. >> we are asking people to take ordinary precautions, given the almost hysterical atmosphere we're in right now. >> reporter: there is some concern among some muslims that they not be seen to be celebrating on the day that 9/11 is commemorated in this country. also, we should note that there is one nonpolitical event scheduled for the 9/11 anniversary. the former first lady, laura bush, will be appearing with the current first lady, michelle obama, in shanksville, pennsylvania, where flight 93 went down. dan harris, abc news, new york.
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>> and rob, we know that a lot of muslim centers and muslim events that are taking are taking place are actually increasing their security on 9/11. >> unusually tense 9/11. it's always a tough anniversary but even more so this year. so much going on around this issue. we'll cover that for sure. the danish company that built the iconic lego. >> that's right. with all the tech toys of today, does lego still stack up to the competition? you're w
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with so much technology out there, when you think of play time for kids you probably think of the ipad or video games. >> you might be surprised to know one of the hottest toys these days is legos. our nick watts puts the pieces together on why they're as popular as ever. >> reporter: every day, millions of dismembered torsos, heads and
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legs roll off the production lines in a little danish town called billund. lego land castles, ramparts dominate the skylines. one in four people here work for lego. there's an international airport, one of only two in the whole country, built because of lego. and there's a lego museum that every new employee must visit. >> what we see here as milestone in our history. >> reporter: there's something called an ideas house where in 1955, they invented the brick we know today. in '62, by the way, they invented the wheel. yep, this is my head made out of lego complete with receding hairline and massive chin. if this ghastly statue proves one thing, that you can make pretty much anything out of legos. but just five years ago, this iconic brand looked finished.
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founded during the great depression of the 1930s by a struggling carpenter, ole kirk christensen, who made toys to survive, lego seemed to have fallen out of fashion. christensens who still ran the business lost their way. legos had debts of nearly $1 billion. sales slumped 40% in just two years. then a guy called jorn was handed the reins. when you took over as ceo, lego was almost dead. >> right. >> reporter: knut, former consultant, fired 1,000 people and streamlined production. they used to make 13,000 different pieces. now they make just 6,000. >> the lady over there is actually filling in the last -- >> reporter: the store sold lego land to a company that actually knows how to run a theme park. popular lines, many of them
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aimed at girls, were discontinued. >> when we were struggling i was thinking, geez, i don't know where the lego is part of a future. >> reporter: he figured even in an age of tv and video games kids want to play with their hands. lego has moved away from the purer, simpler lego i remember from my youth. ♪ >> reporter: these days lego men carry guns. there's more fighting and it seems, more instructions. >> you can build the high-tech lego agent's car. >> reporter: while i felt that lego let my imagination run wild -- >> it's in your hands to help indiana jones solve the great mystery. >> reporter: now kids are told how to create an indiana jones fight scene. by doing that you are imposing some limits or directions on the child easily creative play. >> i don't think it limits their imagination, i think it shows
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them, here's another play scenario, here's another play scenario. what i find when i see children playing, suddenly there's a pirate ship sailing straight into a star wars base. and i say, hang on, you can't do this. they say, why? >> reporter: hip young things like wil, charges with dreaming up new things to hook a new generation. >> i loved legos but i didn't actually think of it as a job. >> reporter: it is now. wil gets paid for coming up with stuff like atlantis. an 8-year-old kid might be able to do your job better than you. >> possibly. but i'll try not to think about that. >> reporter: by the way, it's not just for kids. afols, adult fans of lego, are big. apparently accounting for up to 10% of sales. there's even a magazine. arthur, a grown-up, made the taj mahal. affol daniela built this sweet
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french-looking house. after the rock bottom of 2004, lego gradually began to make a bit of money again. then something extraordinary happened. in 2008, as recession deepened, as toy sales in the u.s. fell by 5%, lego sales in america climbed an astonishing 38%. the brick was back. >> one of the reasons is that parents see this as a good investment. it's not seen as sort of the so-called wasteful society of buying something and throwing it away. >> reporter: perhaps. it is a gift that keeps on giving. you can make pretty much anything out of legos. even a second-rate correspondent. i'm nick watt in billund, denmark. >> nick's funny. >> really. a good replication. >> one website said a lego set is sold every seven seconds in the world.wetjet absorbs so much dirt you'll never go back to your old mop.
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time for "insomniac theater," rob. now i watched the new drew barrymore romantic comedy. hard to go wrong there. we'll get to that in a second. you checked out the champion of the box office this weekend, the new george clooney movie. george clooney? >> willis saw it too. you know, i'm a big george clooney fan, he's like the coolest guy in hollywood. i thought this was a lousy, lousy, boring, slow, not worth my 13 bucks movie. do in the let this clip fool you, this is not an action, suspen suspense, shoot up the bad guys, car chase, blow it up kind of movie. it's an extremely slow, brooding, dark, artsy, impress you with the cinematography movie. don't waste your money going to
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the theater. basically george is a professional killer, hiding out from bad guys in italy. he has one more assignment, basically this make this gun for a fellow assassin. then he has a change of heart, decides he wants to get out of the business which sets up a whole other chain of events. he also happens to find a love interest. here's him in the movie talking to that young lady. >> if i asked you to come away with me, would you? >> come away with you? together? >> together. >> forever? >> forever. >> yes. >> 1 kernel, my worst review in the history of "insomniac theater." did not enjoy this slow, boring -- fit wasn't for the gratuitous nudity i would have given it half a kernel. >> there you go. >> i'm done.
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>> all right, so i fared much better. i saw "going the distance." for anyone who's ever been in a long-distance relationship, you'll find yourself saying, i know what they're talking about. there's drew barrymore and justin long. let's listen to what they talk about just before they get ready to part ways. >> i'll be right back to get your order. >> okay. >> i've never enjoyed getting to know someone more. it's been such a good six weeks. went by so fast. i can't really articulate -- six weeks too fast, me like you, wine. oh my god. >> that's disgusting. >> that is just before they are then separated by 3,000 miles. i liked it. 3 1/2 kernels. it's a g
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[croaking] let's turn over this log. yeah! both: whoa! i like the big black ones. i like the brown wiggly ones. mmm. i like the green crunchy ones myself. whoa. get out and explore nature. there are surpris everywhere. go to discovertheforest.org. [burps] anyone up for dessert?
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president obama gets ready to hit the road to unveil some new pieces of his economic plan. his critics aren't buying it. >> they're just flailing around. from the deep comes the piece of equipment that was supposed to prevent the bp oil disaster. the fbi is now looking into why it didn't work. and, the changes at "american idol." >> the ratings went down approximately 5 million this year. they cannot lose another 5 million next season. >> what can be done to revive tv's most popular show? it's labor day, monday, september 6th. >> from abc news, this is "world news now." >> weird times for the nation's most popular tv show. a lot going on. >> yes, casting now for the new season, not only for the contestants, they're trying to secure the judges as well. randy jackson is the only guy left standing. >> last man standing.
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still have not firmed up who the judges are going to be. a lot of names out there but waiting to find out the final answer. >> they're smart. you know what it does, it gets us talking about it. >> that's right. >> it gets people revisiting the show. >> they need a ratings boom, that's for sure. we'll see if the new judges can give them that. good morning. happy labor day. i'm rob nelson. >> i'm mike marusarz in for vinita nair. president obama heads to wisconsin today to celebrate labor day at a large gathering of union workers. >> with the economic recovery still stalled and midterm elections a few weeks away now, the president is under renewed pressure to come up with a new strategy. david kerley has that story from the white house. >> reporter: back from camp david, president obama is preparing to hit the road, unveiling his new economic plan with additional tax cuts. but already republicans are dubbing it too little, too late. >> we always like to see a death bed conversion, but the fact is
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if we'd have done this kind of thing nearly a couple of years ago, we'd be in a lot better shape. look, they're just flailing around. >> reporter: the administration confirms the president will call for a permanent extension and expansion of the research tax credit, which allows businesses to write off development costs. mr. obama may also endorse a payroll tax holiday for new hires. having now admitted that the economic recovery has stalled. >> jobs are being created, they're just not being created as fast as they need to. >> reporter: with no appetite for another large stimulus, the white house is calling this plan a targeted initiative. >> what you hope is if you can throw enough small things at the economy, shoot enough small bullets, that you'll do enough to actually be able to win this war against what is a very fragile recovery. >> reporter: but can it make a difference with less than 60 days to the midterm elections? or is part of the president's plan a hail mary pass, daring republicans to join him and pass popular tax cuts right before
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the election? >> it allows him to define the republicans as the party of no. if democrats seize on that opportunity, i think that's a great opportunity for democrats. >> reporter: that's certainly not what polls show. with republicans gaining ground even in traditionally democratic areas. and becoming more confident they will take back control of the se. >> republican-based voters can't wait to get to the polls to register their vote on election democrats are having a hard time even getting ou >> reporter: many democrats are distancing themse the head of theic committee said on sunday,the are foolish to do so, saying ty halot of. david kerley, abc news, the white house. u.s. troops battled heavily armed insurgents who attacked an iraqi military headquarters in baghdad over the weekend. it's the first time since combat officially ended last month that american soldiers have been involved in fighting. 12 people were killed when suicide bombers set off a car bomb then fought theiway insbu being killed. authorities in new zealand
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have extended a state of emergency in the t chhquake-ravaged city of - the two-day extension comes as army troops took control of the city center earlier today. a 7.1 magnitude quake badly damaged many businesses in that area two days ago. authorities say that at least 500 buildings were damaged. luckily, no one hur investigators probing the massive bp oil spill in the gulf of mexico are about to examine a key piece of evidence from that broken well. and as matt gutman reports, they'll be asking why the well's blowout preventer failed to be the last line of defense. >> reporter: like some mangled creature raised from the deep, this million-pound mass of steel could tell the story about what went wrong on april 20th and who's to blame for the worst spill in u.s. history and the deaths of 11 men. >> bringing this to a conclusion for the investigation to move forward for the families is a major, major thing for the memory of the 11 men. >> reporter: the busted blowout preventer, bop, is such a key piece of evidence that the fbi
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documented every step of its slow rise to the surface and the agents will remain with it even as it's hauled to an ultra-secure nasa installation. their forensics teams from a half dozen government agencies will scrutinize every inch of it. >> what they're going to be looking for is why this sort of last-ditch stopgap measure didn't work. >> reporter: five stories high, the bop was a series of valves and rams designed to slam shut in the event of a leak. the last line of defense. as we learned at the blowout prevention center at utah state university, this was not one failures. this was a critical part of the blowout preventer system. it should have worked first. there are seven other components 50 feet high. all of them failed. but there was also human error. over 100 hours of testimony before a federal investigative panel revealed that to save money, bp officials built a flimsier well. to avoid incriminating themselves, three bp execs have already pleaded the fifth. bp engineers unhooked the failed
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bop and installed the new one. >> i'm very pleased to announce that with the new blowout preventer on this well, this well does not constitute a threat to the gulf of mexico. >> reporter: now bp can complete the final kill of this doomed well. officials say that process can begin next week. allowing the company to move on to its next problem, $18 billion in potential fines. matt gutman, abc news. nova scotia is still in cleanup mode this morning after getting battered by tropical storm earl. >> earl was no longer a hurricane by the time it made landfall saturday morning but heavy rain and winds toppled trees, knocked out power to 250,000 people all in canada. earl is being blamed for one death, a man who drowned off of halifax while trying to secure his boat. here's your labor day forecast. stormy in the middle of the country. 80-mile-an-hour winds, large hail, isolated tornados from minnesota to kansas. windy in the dakotas, montana and wyoming. heavy rain across southern texas.
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showers in the pacific northwest. >> 60s in seattle, billings and fargo. 71 in salt lake city. 81 in colorado springs. mostly 80s across the midwest. 78 in boston. 82 in baltimore. and 88 in atlanta. it looks like the san diego bay is getting a visit from the pirates of the caribbean. >> people in southern california enjoying the festival of sail this labor day weekend. more than a dozen tall ships from around the world have dropped anchor in the port of san diego. >> visitors can explore those vessels, take a little bit of entertainment and food, and even go for a ride around the bay. the holiday weekend at all. >> it would be tough to fit one of those in those bottles. i think. it's tough anyway but something like that is difficult. >> more after this. stay right there. you go next if you had a
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welcome back, everybody. former british prime minister tony blair has released his memoirs. "a journey: my political life." he spoke exclusively about the book with "this week's" christiane amanpour. >> the book touches on blair's more poignant moments in office. for more here's a look at the sunday talk shows. >> "abc this week" with christiane amanpour starts now. >> do you have regrets about iraq? >> you can't not have regrets about the lives you lost. you'd be inhuman if you didn't regret the death of so many extraordinary, brave, committed soldiers or civilians that have died in iraq or die still now in afghanistan. of course you feel an enormous responsibility for that.
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not just regret. i say in the book, the concept of responsibility for me has its present and future tense, not just its past tense. >> you see president obama faced with drawing down in iraq, faced with ramping up in afghanistan, but still pushing a deadline on. what sort of message does that send as to the commitment to fight this? >> i think it's perfectly sensible to set the deadline, and provided it's clear that's to get everyone focused on getting the job done. in general terms i think the answer to your question is no. i think a lot of people don't understand it's a generation-long struggle. i think one of the things we've got to have, one of the debates we've got to have in the west, is are we prepared for that? >> from nbc news in washington, "meet the press with david gregory." >> let's talk about november, let's talk about the political landscape. do you think there is irrational exuberance among republicans who think they're going to take over the house and perhaps even the
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senate? or do you think the democratic control is indeed in jeopardy? >> i think if we voted tomorrow, we would do very well. but the truth of the matter is that most of this is a rejection of a democratic agenda that did not meet the expectations president obama created about a new way of doing business. from a republican point of view, we need to bring checks and balances. tell the american people if we get back in control, we're going to check this obama agenda that has no limits and we're going to bring about balance by controlling spending, relooking at the health care bill, and trying to be more fiscally responsible. a lot of this has to do with people saying no to the democrats, not saying yes to the republicans. >> well, so what happens then in the fall? do you think republican control, or rather democratic control, is in jeopardy? >> yes, i think if the election were held tomorrow, it would be. there's a couple of months to go. at the end of the day, i don't know what their agenda's going to be between now and november.
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but what they've done in the past, no one seems to like. the health care bill is not being talked about by any democrat. the stimulus bill has been an absolute flop. i don't know what they do between now and november, other than run against us. >> the two very important ideas that are being talked about this week, that the president is suspected to be addressing on wednesday, is this idea of suspending a payroll tax. how much of a boost can that provide, and is it enough to help speed the recovery as the president suggested? >> well, i think if we suspend the payroll tax for businesses that go out and hire additional workers, expand the job tax credit that's in place today, i think that could be effective and be helpful in the next six, 12 months when the recovery really needs it. i think that would be a boost to the economy. >> laura tyson, how do you feel about it? >> i think that's correct. i think we already have in place a credit. the credit can be extended or could be extended into a partial
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payroll tax holiday. i think the issues really are going to be for new hires, all new hires, and then what size of the firm, all firms? this is an area i think is really worthy of serious discussion and with the possibility of some action. >> gretchen, let me ask you this. the whole idea of the president talking about moving in the right direction, wanting to pick up the pace. is there a predominant idea of what it is that is hindering the economy from catching fire? >> definitely is debt. we had a debt binge the likes we have hardly ever seen before. and frankly, harry, it just takes a long, long time to get that out of the system. we're still really working down the debt that homeowners took on. and it's a difficult and really excruciating process. you can't do it overnight. >> well, besides obviously their decision about or thoughts about the iraq war in common, president bush and tony blair now share something else in common.
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tony blair was at his first public book signing in dublin saturday and they started throwing shoes and eggs and other items at him. now that's another kind of embarrassing backlash moment they have in common. pretty scary moments for him on saturday. >> scary moments indeed. when we come back we'll see what's in "the skinny." is kanye west finally again apologizing to taylor swift? was lindsay lohan busted again? you're watching "world news now."
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time for "the skinny." it's awards season, rob. that means kanye west. >> yes, his favorite time of year. >> back in the news. he took to twitter, which he's a new twitter user. only been on there since the summer. already got a million or so followers. he wrote on his twitter page, again, i'm sorry, taylor. referring to taylor swift. last year around this time at the mtv music awards -- >> a low point in his career. >> he jumped in front of taylor as she was accepting an award and said beyonce deserved
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to win. he said he has "bled hard" over the past year. in seclusion a bit. he was supposed to tour with lady gaga, canceled that. >> spent some time with himself, my ego's in check, i'm coming back, i'm going to be a new person. >> this was the latest round in all of his award show snafus and televised incidents. so i don't know, we'll see. >> let's hope, one, the apology is sincere, maybe he's learned something from the incredible backlash of last year's vmas, and move on. we'll see. there's no shortage of ego on that guy. we'll see whatever happens. i hate to bring up the "l" word. we're always talking about lindsay. i know you're tired of hearing about her, we're tired of talking about her. she's always doing something. she's back in the headlines. the caveat on this, this story may not be true. the alleged eyewitness in this case, the story may not be totally for real just yet. there's a report out apparently lindsay was driving her maserati, pulling out of her
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west hollywood garage, and actually clipped a woman who was pushing a small child in a stroller. this is allegedly video taken shortly after the accident here. i think this happened sometime last week. and there was concern lindsay did this then drove away seconds later. didn't stop to check on anybody. >> there in the bubble. >> this is shortly after she was released from rehab. she allegedly drove away after allegedly clipping this woman carrying the small kid in the stroller. but again, there's some credibility there about the eyewitness in this case. we have to see where this whole thing goes. she's denying it so far. >> a paparazzo? what's the singular? there was a guy, a photographer, this was his first day on the job. so there's some thought that maybe he was just trying to be a little -- >> fabricating. >> salacious. >> that's according to tmz. we'll see where this goes. another negative headline for lindsay. >> let's talk about somebody being overexposed if you will. >> just a little.
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>> the quote-unquote white house crashers. you remember the couple that tried to sneak into the white house. >> salahis. now she's on "real housewives of d.c." now she will soon grace the pages of "playboy." >> yum. >> she is getting ready to bare her 44-year-old body and all. and this will not be an artsy top half-naked picture, a gossip website reports, it will be a full-frontal birthday suit naked. >> she's going for the gold, really. on the show, issues about her body have become a topic on the show. the other housewives think she's too skinny, may have an eating disorder or whatever. now she's saying, i'm going to show it all for "playboy." >> people will be able to analyze that. >> absolutely, absolutely. there's another housewife on the cover of "playboy." >> kelly. >> i saw her walking past the newsstand. for $2 million, i believe. part of the alleged $10 million in hush money.
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here are some stories to watch today on abc news. president obama begins unveiling his new economic plan today at a labor day event in milwaukee. it's the first of a week-long series of events focusing on the economy. also, the fbi is studying every inch of that so-called blowout preventer which failed to work on the bp oil well at the bottom of the gulf of mexico. its malfunction led to that 206 million gallons of oil spewing into the water. the marquee matchup of college football's opening weekend is tonight as number three boise state takes on number ten virginia tech 8:00 eastern time on our sister network espn news. i'll take boise state. my good friend brian murphy's a reporter in idaho covering that scene. i'm hoping he has a good season. >> a lot of people saying they're overrated. >> we'll see, we'll see. finally this half hour, the drama hitting a sour note on "american idol."
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rob, typically it's the people in front of the judges' desk getting the boot from the show. >> not this time around. the controversy behind the desk this year is leading to a big shakeup. who's in and who's out? here's jeremy hubbard. >> reporter: with season ten auditions already under way, it is down to the wire. can "american idol" find the right new judges to stop a ratings slide? >> this is a wakeup call time for "american idol." the ratings went down approximately 5 million this year. they cannot lose another 5 million next season. it's a perfect time for the judge panel to be shaken up. >> reporter: kara dioguardi's departure had been rumored for weeks. but the search for new judges has been dragging on forever. with everyone from justin timberlake to elton john on the wish list. the latest front-runners, j. lo, who according to press reports was in the running. then totally dismissed for too many demands and is now back in. and steven tyler's reportedly in the mix as well, though aerosmith's front man played coy when a tmz camera caught up with
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him a couple of weeks ago. >> are you doing "american idol"? >> i don't know, that the rumor you heard? you know, i don't know, they haven't called me yet. >> are you friends with j. lo? >> they've got to lay out the bread for me. >> reporter: it has been a dizzying game of musical chairs on the judge's panel the past couple of seasons. first kara joined. then paula left and ellen arrived. now simon, ellen and kara are now gone. the last man standing, randy jackson. >> i'm going to honestly, honestly miss you. it has been a blast. thank you. >> reporter: the big question, can "idol" ever again find the right mix, especially after losing their sharp-tongued standout? simon cowell is launching his own talent show "the x factor" on fox. >> "american idol" without simon is the "ellen" talk show without emale announcer] in today's tou, there's a lot of people out there promising easy solutions to your debt. solutions that claim to reduce payments and get you back on your feet in no time at all.
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president obama launches a week-long push focused on the economy. >> it allows him to define that republicans as the party of no. >> those republicans are saying it's all too little, too late to help democrats in november. craigslist taking down its controversial adult services ad section. we'll hear from the website's founder, the craig behind the list. and, the money problems in one community in california. >> hundreds of thousands of dollars of public money has been paid out under completely suspicious circumstances. >> where did all of it go and who's getting rich because of it? the answer is ahead on this labor day, monday, september 6th. >> from abc news, this is "world news now." >> that controversy in california really is something else. i think initial reports are the median salary in that community is like $30,000. these guys are making hundreds
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of thousands of dollars. >> well, it's not a secret anymore and people are looking at the books and it's just a whole mess. it's a pr mess to say the very least. >> all that money. good morning, everybody. happy labor day. i'm rob nelson. >> i'm mike marusarz, sitting in for vinita nair. the president is celebrating labor day with union workers in wisconsin. it's the beginning of a week when the white house is focused on the economy. >> mr. obama also has an eye of course toward the midterm elections which are coming up now in two months. david kerley reports now from the white house. >> reporter: president obama hits the road today for a week that is all about the economy. he'll be unveiling a new economic plan, having admitted that the economy is stalled. the administration confirms the president will call for a permanent extension and expansion of the research tax credit which allows businesses to write off development costs. mr. obama may also endorse a payroll tax holiday for new hires. all tax cuts that business
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supports. >> we always like to see death bed conversions but the fact is if we'd have done this kind of thing nearly a couple of years ago, we'd be in a lot better shape. >> reporter: but can it make a difference with less than 60 days to the midterm elections? or is part of the president's plan a hail mary pass? daring republicans to pass popular tax cuts he's suggested before the election? >> it allows him to define republicans as the party of no. if democrats seize on that opportunity, i think that's a great opportunity for democrats. >> republican-based voters can't wait to get to the polls to register their vote on election day. democrats are having a hard time even getting out of bed in the morning. >> reporter: many democrats are distancing themselves from president obama. the head of the democratic committee said on sunday they are foolish to do so, saying they have a lot to be proud of. david kerley, abc news, the white house. in other news now, craigslist has removed the controversial adult services
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section of its website. in its place now is a banner that simply says "censored." a group of state attorneys general had argued that craigslist was not doing enough to block those ads promoting prostitution. it's still not clear if the move is actually permanent. coming up later in this half hour, we'll look back at an interview with the real craig of craigslist. with the anniversary of the september 11th attacks days away, tensions remain high over the construction of new mosques around the country. when an anti-muslim televangelist turned up near ground zero over the weekend, some thought there could be more trouble. as chuck sivertsen reports, it didn't turn out that way. >> i love people, i hate nobody. >> reporter: those words from known anti-muslim preacher bill keller, the televangelist gave a first service at a new christian center half a block from ground zero. and to the surprise of some in the audience he also supported a proposed highly controversial muslim community center two blocks away. >> they have every right to
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build it. >> reporter: it's not a complete truce. >> they want to go there and preach the lies of islam, i can come preach the truth of the bible. >> reporter: still, mosque supporters welcome the wo ays the anniversary of t atkn t center. >> religions are kind of in competition with each other. they can all pray in their own house of worship and i'm in favor of that. >> reporter: in norwalk, connecticut -- >> not in our neighborhood! >> reporter: the protests over a new mosque in a residential neighborhood continues. in murfreesboro, tennessee, officials are offering a $20,000 reward for information about an arson firhe cruct still, the mosque's imam hopes the fire is the last act in a string of protests, marches and vandalism. >> i think something good will come out of thi we'll get to know each other and everyone muslim community is a part of this society. >> reporter: chuck sivertsen, u.s. troops training iraqi forces in baghdad found themselves providing cover fire
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during an insurgent's attack. 12 people were killed and dozens wounded yesterday. u.s. officials say no americans were hurt. it's the first time americans have been involved in fighting since the u.s. formally ended combat last month. authorities in new zealan have extended a state of have extended a state of christ church. the two-day extension comes as army troops took control of the a 7.1 magnitude quake badly damaged many businesses in that area two days ago. damage from that quake is now estimated at $1.4 billion. public school teachers have long complained about being underpaid. but that's not stopping them from digging deep into their own pockets so their students don't have to suffer. with the recession making things even worse, one group has stepped in to lighten the >> reporter: for school administrators, shrinking budgets mean numbers that won't add up. for first grade teacher daisy cabon, it means students who won't have pencils or paper. >> in the year you run out, then
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you don't get any more. >> reporter: so cabon like thousands of public school teachers around the country buys them herself. >> i spend probably like $400 a year. >> reporter: out of pocket? >> out of my pocket, yes. >> reporter: one study finds more than 90% of public school teachers spend their own money to provide basic supplies for their students. an average of nearly $500 a year. but now they are getting some help. world vision, a christian humanitarian organization, is providing supplies to more than 350,000 students nationwide. everything from highlighters to erasers to textbooks. >> we try to make connections between donors and people who don't have enough. >> reporter: world vision goes directly to suppliers to get them to donate excess inventory. to companies like staples. the supplies are then brought to one of eight world vision storehouses around the country. then distributed to centers like this one where teachers come to shop. >> they're always running out of binders. this will come in handy.
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>> any time i find science materials, i love it. >> reporter: all of it free. >> they're happy to receive anything. so anything you give them, they are excited about. >> reporter: excited too about learning. and that may be the most valuable thing this program provides. ron claiborne, abc news, new york. former jet blue flight attendant steven slater claims he was not fired but instead quit his job. that claim followed some widespread rumors that the carrier took disciplinary action against slater. the former flight attendant made a dramatic and headline-grabbing exit from a flight in new york by deploying the plane's emergency slide. that incident came after an argument between slater and a passenger on that flight. here's a look at your labor day weather forecast. gusty winds, golf ball-size hail and a chance of tornados and flash flooding from the twin cities to omaha. windy across the dakotas, montana, and wyoming. a tropical depression brings heavy rain to south texas,
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showers to south florida. >> 90 in miami. 80 in new york. 78 in boston. 80s from indianapolis to open omaha. 73 in minneapolis. and 64 in fargo. a wet 62 in seattle. 73 in boise. and 90 in albuquerque. and finally, finally there is good news to report from china this morning. after one of that country's most notorious long and complicated traffic jams, it is beginning to ease, if only a bit. >> on friday, get this, some 10,000 trucks were at a standstill on part of the beijing/tibet highway. now they are finally inching along as they make their way to the chinese capital. >> the congestion began to worsen last month because of a road construction project on a nearby highway and it sure seems they can't finish that construction. that's mind-boggling. >> 10,000 trucks. people getting out of their cars and camping out, the traffic was not moving for days. we thought traffic in new york was tough, we have nothing on that.
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now to that story about the working class suburb of l.a. where officials were paying themselves salaries between $400,000 and $800,000 a year. >> of course all that caused a huge national uproar. now the investigation is actually spreading to other towns. mike von fremd has more now from bell, california. >> reporter: bell, california, is a struggling suburb of 40,000 people south of los angeles. with 17% living below the poverty line, many residents line up each week at the food bank. so california's attorney general wants to know why the city manager was making nearly $1 million a year. >> we have a case where hundreds of thousands of dollars of public money has been paid out under completely suspicious circumstances. >> reporter: the scandal
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exploded in july when the "los angeles times" reported the city manager was making nearly $800,000 a year. double president obama's salary. and it didn't stop there. the chief of police got $457,000. and part-time members of the city council helped themselves to nearly $100,000. >> they're setting an agenda they have to line their pockets. >> reporter: outraged residents forced their leaders to step down. but the scandal did not end there. residents learned they were paying the second-highest property taxes in the county. >> they were bankrupting the residents. people weren't able to pay their taxes, paying double what the city was paying. >> reporter: if you're asking how this could happen, it's simple. no one was watching. this is a working class community and few had time to
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attend city council meetings. since the salary scandal, all that has changed. other towns are now coming under the microscope. investigators are already looking at bell's neighbors. vernon and maywood. >> shame on you! shame on you! >> reporter: angry residents are not satisfied to see their leaders resign. they want their money back. >> i think it's criminal. >> reporter: bell's city manager is owed a pension of $600,000 a year for life. this weekend, pension supervisors announced they may be making some major revisions. mike von fremd, abc news, bell, california. >> the moral of that story is the danger of not watching, of not paying attention. what they can get away with if you don't keep a close eye. >> step on my soapbox here. as much as we in the media get hounded for not doing the type of work people want to see, this is exactly why you need oversight. >> absolutely. >> that is insane to believe, the budget crisis they're going through. these officials seeming smug about their salaries. >> not anymore.
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that's for sure. coming up, just who is craig from craigslist? >> a look at the founder of america's community billboard from our "abc news vault." stay tuned.
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as we reported earlier the adult services section on the website craigslist has been removed. >> the site's founder, craig newmark, told abc news in 2006 when a crime was committed through his site they openly work with police. for more on craigslist we go into the "abc news vault" from february 22nd, 2006. >> reporter: type in www.craigslist.org and you're opening a window to the world. >> i placed the ad on craigslist to free up some space in my garage by getting rid of a couple of my wife's six strollers. >> i found this place on craigslist a year ago. it was only appropriate that i
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go back to craigslist to look for more people to fill the space. >> reporter: as his interviews from the film "24 hours on craigslist" illustrate, the website is a legitimate cultural phenomenon. millions of connections, goods, services. all thanks to craigslist. and craig. >> my feeling is he doesn't really exist. >> reporter: craig exists. here he is, craig newmark, 52. former techie at ibm and self-described nerd since high school. the man responsible for one of the top ten websites on the planet. america's community billboard. it all started simply enough 11 years ago. just a lonely guy in the bay area looking for some friends. >> and i started a simple mailing list of what i felt were cool events. >> reporter: he was going to call it sf events but a pal weighed in. >> he said, you called it craig's list, keep calling it that, it will signify it's
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personal and quirky. >> reporter: one of the most popular sections of the site is casual encounters. >> i posted an ad saying something along the lines of, passable transsexual escort available for out calls. >> reporter: from no strings, extracurricular, often extramarital, sex. >> it bothers me that people do some stuff which maybe i find personally unpleasant. but i'm not going to judge them if for no other reason than i'm finding some practices which i don't like are pretty universal throughout the whole country, for example. >> reporter: but you're enabling it. you could take that section off your list. >> people would find other ways to do it, it would spread to other, more legitimate sections of our site. >> reporter: every morning, craig newmark tends to craigslist's customer complaints. most of it is pretty petty
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stuff. or administrative, like keeping brokers who charge a fee in the right section of the listings. >> the really big lesson that i have learned from doing craigslist customer service full-time, interacting with a couple hundred people a week or so, is people are overwhelmingly good and trustworthy. >> i'm making a short video digital project, i have a budget of $20.32. i would love anyone who wants to help me out -- >> reporter: but there is bad stuff. >> she's prostituting herself. she has a listing on craigslist. >> reporter: criminal scams. prostitution. and worse. one san francisco woman was accused of offering her 4-year-old daughter up for sex on craigslist. >> you see something really ugly and that stays in your head. in my case, i've seen too much ugly stuff. and it haunts me. >> reporter: often such questionable listings are flagged for craig by other users. but sometimes law enforcement gets involved. and craig says he bends over backwards to help them. with craigslist generating about
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1 billion page views per month, largely free classifieds, newspaper publishers blame craig for stealing away the bread and butter of their business. just in san francisco, one study showed, the "san francisco chronicle" and its competitors lose more than $50 million a year in classified advertising revenue because of craig. and the criticism has been withering. you shouldn't take the money and run, one columnist wrote about craig. you need to give something back to society other than cheap apartment ads and funny, dirty personals. jim buckmaster, who runs the day-to-day operations of craigslist, understands the criticism. but jim rejects the notion that craigslist is single-handedly killing off newspapers. he points to other trends like younger readers increasingly wanting to get their news online. still, he acknowledges that craigslist isn't helping matters. >> we have to keep our eyes on. tens of millions of users who really weren't well-served by newspapers as far as the classified opportunities that have existed in the past.
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>> do you not feel any responsibility for any of the financial struggles of newspapers? >> i don't feel responsibility, taking that literally. i'd like to accelerate change in the news industry so that fewer people are fired and so that the jobs of people in the news business get better. >> you've described yourself as in the past, perhaps even in the present, not being great at interaction or communication. fair? >> very fair. >> do you think it's ironic at all that you have created this huge website that does nothing but bring people together in communication and interactivity? >> my life is a full irony. my life is a sitcom. >> abc news reached out to craigslist and the company has not commented about its recent move to take down the adult services ad section.
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"world news now" delivers your "morning papers." >> we're talking vegetables today. all kinds of weird stuff on this labor day morning. so cool stuff growing out there in the gardens of the world. >> let's be hungry. this first vegetable, pretty reminiscent of a favorite flick for some youngsters out there. "toy story." believe it or not there's a carrot that looks like buzz lightyear from "toy story." >> usually these stories are pretty stupid but that really does look like it. >> a grandfather, clive williams, dug this thing up. he said, wait a minute, this looks like buzz lightyear. he took it inside, asked his grandchildren what disney character does this look like, and sure enough, buzz lightyear. now they're wanting to grow woody, which is the sidekick of course, and the other characters, like mr. potato head, to complete their "toy story" set. >> mr. potato head, part two of this story, apparently a record
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has been broken for the world's largest potato. look at this picture here. this thing came in at eight pounds, four ounces. world's largest potato by a few ounces. and this guy, peter glays brook. 66-year-old. you're thinking it resembled the cartoon character. he thinks this thing is the star trek's "enterprise" spaceship. >> okay. >> i can kind of see that, though. he's waiting for official verification from the guinness book of world records that this is indeed the world's largest potato. >> he said the secret was the right seed. you've got to have the right seed to morph into the proper -- >> you're clever. i'm sure. wild stuff, though, yes. >> here's a disturbing picture. and a disturbing story. >> where we left off last week with the smoking kid. >> right. i'm saying, this is a dog who apparently now smokes a pack a day. >> puppy. >> it's a little puppy dog. the owner said at first the dog
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did not like the smell. shocking, he didn't like the smell of smoke being blown into his face. apparently he got accustomed to it. >> that's how he got him accustomed to it, blowing smoke in his face to this little puppy in china. >> the people around him in that neighborhood say he's a bad pet owner. i would say so. they need to take this little guy away from the owner. ridiculous. >> the smoking 2-year-old was up to 40 cigarettes a day. i got a lot of buzz on our website. now the puppies are smoking. what's going on in the world? any-way. this story cracks us both up here. this is a woman in korea. she's been trying for years to get her driver's license, to finally pass the driver's test. she was taking this test once a day, five days a week, since april 2005. on her 960th try she finally passes the test. she's an eligible driver is mor.
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>> get more news from abc news on "good morning ameri